This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Oct. 8

Stocks in this article: SIRI TWX BP GPS PEP AIG VIA

2. BP's Spill Flows All the Way to White House

BP (BP) has spent months drowning in its own oil, and now the White House gets to bathe in it, too.

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling laid out a damning case against the federal response to the BP oil spill, making it clear that the unquantifiable economic damage caused should hold a lien against the White House.

Indeed, the public has spent so much time hating BP -- and rightly so! -- that it's easy to forget the role the federal government played in botching the oil spill response effort. The Minerals Management Service was ushered out of existence as a result of its too cozy relationship with oil companies.

This week's report, however, shows that for every overly optimistic, if not outright misleading, comment from former BP CEO Tony Hayward and BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles, the federal government was in lock step in trying to make the problem seem like a minor environmental hiccup.

The ineptitude of the federal response wasn't just limited to its overly optimistic early assessment. It was also characterized by a sudden reversal of strategy. The federal government moved from downplaying the oil spill to launching the largest federal response in the nation's history. The American public heard Obama laud the government for the size of its response in countless speeches as his poll numbers slipped.

Now the national commission makes clear that Obama's massive response wasn't simply proportional to the magnitude of the oil spill crisis, but had an inverse relationship to this glass-half-full rhetoric. As the low-balling oil flow estimates became untenable, the federal government hoped the sheer number of resources committed to the Gulf of Mexico would save its image. Think of it as an environmental shock and awe campaign.

And if that's not enough, the national commission was given one final gift by the White House. Once the spill was under control, the federal government was back at the game of saying "no biggie," issuing a report once the well was capped that said that almost all of the oil that had once flowed across the surface of the Gulf of Mexico was either contained or eliminated.

TheStreet Says: The commission suggests that Obama was standing way too close to BP. And when you stand too close to millions of gallons of spewing oil, it tends to stick to your shoes.

4 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs